Learning Outcomes for Personal Development
Level 1 - The doctor as a professional
Personal development within the context of undergraduate medical education is a complex issue. The underlying personality of the individual graduate and his/her life experiences outwith the university have a major influence on personal development, as do experiences relating specifically to their training. Personal development is, of course, an ongoing, life-long process but it is possible to identify a number of important outcomes for the undergraduate period.
Recommended methods of assessment include:
Potential new methods of assessment are:
There are some areas within this outcome which should not be assessed, either because they are un-assessable in a meaningful way or because they are out-with the undergraduate curriculum. Other topics may only be amenable to formative assessment, at least in the earlier undergraduate years, such that the assessment per se is part of the educational process. This is particularly the case with for example, team working skills, self-awareness, presentation skills and attitudes. In some cases formative assessment alone may be sufficient, which does not necessarily exclude a permanent record being maintained in a portfolio and the student having the opportunity to refer to and reflect on the assessment.
Modes of assessment for this outcome common to several schools already include:
Three fairly new assessment methods have been recommended for this outcome:
Research into the validity and reliability of the tools listed above is required. Although there is information for some of the more established tools e.g. MCQ, MEQ and OSCEs this may not be applicable in the context of this outcome. Further work is required to evaluate them.
Assessment of many of the fourth level outcomes will be applied in an integrated fashion i.e. professional conduct and motivation can only be assessed within the context of observed clinical or project work and not alone. Many of the outcomes will be assessed together e.g. lateness at clinics may be a marker for poor motivation and/or poor organisational skills.
Compensation should no longer be permitted between academic content and personal/professional development to prevent information on studentsí suitability for medical practice being Ďlostí within assessment of academic ability. Separate tracking of personal and professional development is suggested to allow concerns about a studentís professional qualities to be identified and acted upon quickly to benefit students, patients and the profession.
Assessment methods and tools must be selected which will motivate medical students to adopt attitudes, skills and knowledge for professional practice and not merely for examinations. In particular we need to encourage specific strategies in medical students e.g. reflective practice, deep learning and skills in teamworking. Research on the effect of assessment on studentsí personal and professional development will be very important in the new medical curricula.
These recommendations on continuous assessment, portfolios and educational mentoring are all tempered by the recognition that each requires significant resources. Staff development is necessary to ensure that teachers understand the purpose of these systems and how to make objective and fair assessments and give feedback.
These modes of assessment also require tutors to find more time to gather information about students on attachment and offer feedback on their performance; mark several pieces of written work for the portfolio, often including reflective writing where the tutor needs to be familiar with the whole portfolio; and to offer appraisal and mentoring to a few students perhaps twice in the academic year. These concerns about tutorsí time emphasise the need to introduce these modes of assessment cautiously and enquiringly and to review the acceptability by both staff and students as part of the evaluation.
|Published by the Scottish Deans' Medical Curriculum Group © 2011|